Tell me about looking for homestays for exchange students.

I tutor Korean children over Skype before going to my day job, and this morning, one of my students’ parents asked me for a favor. She is looking for a homestay in Boston for her twelve-year-old, and I’ve been tasked with finding an appropriate place for him to spend the next year.

Now I’m pretty sure I can find a whole bunch of homestays. My problem is that not having any kids, I’m not exactly sure what to look for. How do I check out a homestay? Is there an agency who vets them? I had bad experiences with shady agencies for Americans teaching at Hakwons in Korea, and if possible I’d like to shield this kid from anything like that. How do you find a reputable organization? His mom said that she would like me to talk with possible parents and pass my better judgment on to them. I felt like telling her that she was one of the more trusting people I have ever met, but restrained myself. So what should I look for in an interview with parents. Again, I’m not a parent, nor do I have any paternal instincts whatsoever.

Also, does anyone have any experience with homestays, either as having a kid over for a year or sending their kids into the jaws of foreign-culturey doom? If so, I’d love to hear about it. This is the first time either his mom or I have ever contemplated this, so we’re babes in the wilderness. I’m looking for all the perspective I can get. Again, I can–and already have–located a few organizations. I need advice on how to find a reputable organization.

Many thanks for your help. :slight_smile: